Chávez, Correa, Brazil and the Farc

The analysis of 5700 messages found in the files of a FARC leader killed in 2008 reveals the group’s connections with Chavez, Correa and PT

The disclosure of a package with 5700 documents from computer files of narco terrorist Raul Reyes, last week, would turn Julian Assange, Australian founder of the WikiLeaks site, dedicated to revealing state secrets, green with envy. The colombian Reyes, whose real name was Luis Edgar Devia, was the coordinator of the Cominter, the international network of representatives and employees of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). He was killed in 2008 in an attack against the democratic government of Colombia in their camp in Ecuador, where they found three laptops, two hard drives and three memory cards – that is, a complete file on guerrilla activities of Farc, a group tha, in the past, aspired to seize power in Colombia to install a communist dictatorship and today is just a criminal gang that survives kidnapping and trafficking cocaine and weapons. A small portion of the documents from Reyes was leaked to the press since then, including dozens who gave evidence of FARC links with Brazil and, in particular, with activists and leftist politicians. After their authenticity was certified by Interpol, the entirety of the material was handed over by the government of President Alvaro Uribe to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), an entity with unshakable credibility in London. Last week, the IISS has released a report with a review of documents. There are devastating revelations, including that Hugo Chavez ordered the training of militias and the assassination of Venezuelan opposition by Farc and promised to give 300 million dollars for the group to buy weapons. Also came to light evidence that the president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, has received $ 400,000 from the FARC to finance his election campaign in 2006. Possibly to avoid questions from journalists or from Dilma Rousseff, Chavez canceled his visit to Brazil a few hours before the report was released last week. The revelations are, in theory, sufficient to justify a criminal action against Chavez at an international tribunal. ”There are two crimes in their actions, conspiracy and conspiracy to delinquency”, says Maristela Basso, professor of international law at the University of São Paulo.
The British researchers have focused on analyzing the relations of the FARC with Venezuela and Ecuador. Along with its report, however, IISS released a CD with most of the e-mails, transcripts of records and provision of accounts found on Reyes’s computer, totaling 1,500 pages of documents in their raw state. VEJA studied this vast material and crossed it´s informations with seven dozen papers on the FARC which Uribe delivered to Lula´s government in 2008.There are, in the whole work, a lot of information to confirm old suspicions about the tentacles of the FARC in Brazil. The e-mails from the archive show that Reyes or FARC act very freely in Brazilian territory. Here, the narco-terrorists can fake documents (often with the help of Venezuelan diplomats), receive the support of politicians and activists of Left parties to raise money, buy weapons and proselytize to win supporters, and perhaps, new recruits. This, incidentally, was confirmed by Marli Machado Bittar, from São Paulo. Marli has a son, Vladimir, who became a guerrilla from FARC, codenamed Raphael Spindola. She said in testimony to the federal police that she heard from a mutual friend that it was the Colombian Oliverio Medina who recruited him.

Medina, nom de guerre of Francisco Cadenas Collazos, is one of the representatives of the FARC in Brazil. By 2006, the country had as a companion Orlay Jurado Palomino, codenamed Hermes, accused of having participated in the kidnapping and murder of the daughter of former Paraguayan President Raul Cubas, Cecilia, in 2005. Medina was arrested at the request of Colombia in 2005 and the following year received political refugee status by the Brazilian government and was released. He was one of the main partners of Reyes and the emails show that he continued to defend the interests of the FARC in Brazil until the death of his boss in 2008.

The emails show that, before he was arrested, Medina had the help of providential Eloisa Lagonell diplomat of the embassy of Venezuela in Brasilia, and the artist Pavel Eguez, cultural attache of Ecuador in Brazil. In a letter, Medina reports about a meeting between Chavez and Lula, whose details had been given by Lagonell. The episode reveals the degree of intimacy between the FARC and the Venezuelan bureaucracy and that the Chavez government was willing to mediate the group’s interests in the region – a fact proven by many other e-mail files. Another character that served as a connection between the FARC in Brazil and Venezuela was Amilcar Figueroa Salazar, aka Tino. In a message of January 27, 2006, written in jail, Medina tells Reyes that he was planning to get some money to the FARC. The content of the e-mail was: “Through Viana (Antonio Carlos Viana, who in 2002 attended the barbecue in Brasilia in which Medina allegedly promised $ 5 million to help elect Lula), Tino learned about the Telecentros assembled in the MST and in the villages of fishermen, who operate via satellite. In Caracas, thay liked the idea. Tino phoned Viana to propose him to do a project. When Viana told me about it, I proposed that we could do it through the CELA to see if we could get any spare penny. I’ll keep you informed.”

Everything indicates that the core of Brazilian guerrillas moved vast sums of money. In a message in October 2003, the chancellor of the FARC, Rodrigo Granda, based in Caracas and later also involved in the kidnapping of Cecilia Cubas, said that Tino has crossed the border with 60,000 (possibly U.S. dollars), “while in the safe, 150 were with Albertão”. This is Antonio Albertão Edson, a former councilman from PT in Guarulhos. In the same email, he accounts that Tino Granda, Camilo (another code name of Medina) and a third partner named Ze Maria were robbed in downtown Sao Paulo. The trio of terrorists has lost 250 dollars and a cell phone. They were outraged by the fact that it occurred in broad daylight, at 10 a.m.. Evil thief.

Albertão was not the only PT affiliate who was related to the FARC. On the CD released by the IISS, there is a revealing mention to the former treasurer of the PT Paulo Ferreira. In a message of June 19, 2003, Granda describes his meeting with Ferreira in Quito, Ecuador. “We talked a lot with him”, wrote Granda. Ferreira was secretary for international relations of the PT and therefore had authority to speak on behalf of the party’s newly elected Lula. In March 2005, Ferreira told Veja that if there were links between members of the PT and the FARC, the party took place in absentia. “I can say that would be a crime”, he said. On Friday evening, asked about the meeting mentioned in emails, Ferreira adapted the speech. He said the meeting took place in Foro de Sao Paulo, a gathering of leftist organizations in Latin America, in Quito, and that only afterwards he learned that Granda was a FARC member. Granda, it is worth remembering, was then the best known face of the FARC abroad and a year before he had been included in the list of criminals wanted by Interpol.To his credit, Ferreira has the fact that fooling Brazilians seemed to be Granda´s expertise. The IISS report highlights one electronic message in which he said he had been questioned by Federal Police at the Guarulhos Airport, in Sao Paulo, in 2002. Granda says that he managed to hide a file that could implicate him before being taken to the police room and explains how he finally got away from trouble with a sui generis solution: “I called Caracas”, he says. In another email, the chancellor of FARC reveals that the consul of Venezuela in Manaus has given courtesy visas to some fighters traveling from Brazil to Venezuela in 2003, and even indicated the contact of na officer who could solve immigration problems with documentations. It is proved: the interests of the FARC stretched over Brazilian territory just like the many and long tentacles of an octopus. (VEJA magazine)

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